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Six of the Best: Cultural highlights not to miss this weekend

09:21 13 November 2014

Joan Armatrading who is performing solo at Norwich

Joan Armatrading who is performing solo at Norwich's St Andrew's Hall

Archant

After 42 years of live performing, Joan Armatrading final major tour sees her performing solo for the first time, there is comedy from Shappi Khorsandi, punk poet John Cooper Clarke, magic from Paul Daniels, a touring production of Julius Caesar while the Octagon Concert Series celebrates 30 years. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.

COMEDY

Shappi Khorsandi

Norwich Playhouse, November 13-14, 8pm, £15, 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

Feisty, flirty and effortlessly funny, the star of Live At The Apollo returns with her show Because I’m Shappi. After being knocked up like a 1950s teenager, Shappi missed 2013 - but now she is back and it’s forward march. Reflecting on the good things, she celebrates her haphazard, zig-zag towards her dreams. Along the way she introduces us to friends, family and total strangers who have helped her on her personal Yellow Brick Road. She has whip-crack jokes and is effortlessly funny as she handles every subject with a razor sharp wit, softened only by her deliciously mischievous delivery and endless charm.

THEATRE

Julius Caesar

Seagull Theatre, Pakefield, Lowestoft, November 13, 7.30pm, 01502 589726, www.theseagull.co.uk/Garboldisham Village Hall, November 14, 7.30pm, 01379 586745/Fisher Theatre, Bungay, November 15, 7.30pm, 01986 897130, www.fishertheatre.org/Diss Corn Hall, November 20, 7.30pm, 01379 652241, www.disscornhall.co.uk

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! Following the success of their much-praised Richard III, RoughCast take their production of Shakespeare’s classic political thriller on tour. With their fast-paced story-telling and sharply delineated characters, they bring this tale of assassination, intrigue and divided loyalties vividly to life. Returning victorious to Rome following civil war and riding a wave of popularity, is Julius Caesar about to be proclaimed emperor? Tickets at all shows £9 (£7 cons).

SHOW

Paul Daniels & Debbie Mcgee

St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, November 14, 7.30pm, £18.50 (£15 cons), £12 children, £50 family, 01493 331484, www.stgeorgestheatre.com/Princess Theatre, Hunstanton, November 21, 7.30pm, £19-£12.50, 01485 532252, www.princesshunstanton.co.uk

You’ll like this — a lot. Former TV magician, comedian and performer Paul Daniels needs no introduction. The entertainer, together with wife and fellow entertainer Debbie Mcgee, is back performing two nights that promises nostalgia, comedy, magic and illusion including a date in Yarmouth where the pair first met. This brand new show sees him performing a selection of his favourite magic and a number of new tricks never performed in public before.

LITERARY

John Cooper Clarke

Epic Studios, Magdalen Street, Norwich, November 15, 8pm, £27.50, 01603 727727, www.epicstudiosnorwich.com

Punk poet turned one of Britain’s best loved spoken word artists is as vital now as he was in the 70s. His biting, satirical, political and very funny verse, delivered in a unique rapid-fire performance style, resonated with the punk movement and saw him touring with The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Buzzcocks. Today his influence remains as strong, working with Plan B, having the Arctic Monkeys use his words and featuring in the soundtrack of The Wire.

CONCERT

30th Anniversary Concert

Octagon Chapel, Colegate, Norwich, November 15, 7pm, £7 (£6 cons), www.octagonmusic.org.uk

Started in 1984 by Mary Rae, the Octagon Concert Series celebrates 30 years with this anniversary concert. It is the 282nd concert in the series, which has been graced by thousands of performers and raised thousands for charity. The first half features new work Transfiguration by Norfolk composer Kenneth Ian Hÿtch and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by Vaughan Williams. The Octagon Singers and invited orchestra are joined by soloists soprano Katharine Horton, mezzo soprano Karen Harries and Jan Hÿtch on flugelhorn. The second half boasts music by Handel, W A Mozart, Leopold Mozart, Schubert, Gossec, Widor, Simon and Garfunkel and John Rutter for voices, flute, piano, organ, orchestra and audience!

MUSIC

Joan Armatrading

St Andrews Hall, Norwich, November 16, 5pm, £29.50, 01603 508050, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

In over her 42 years of live performing, Joan Armatrading has never done a solo world tour. Saving the best until last, for her final major tour, which comes to Norwich this weekend, she has decided this is the perfect time to perform her first ever full scale solo concerts. Her performances will include songs that span her entire career so far. It’s just her, a guitar, a piano and some amazing songs. “I want them to be a special lively interactive one-to-one experience,” she said. “I have absolutely enjoyed the last 42 years of performances but now, with my final major tour, I want to capture a unique memory for both myself and the audience.”

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